Source : Check List American Railroads

Source Title Check List on American Railroads before 1841
Description A union list of printed books and pamphlets, including state and federal documents, dealing with charters, bylaws, legislative acts, speeches, debates, land grants, officers' and engineers' reports, travel guides, maps, etc.
Scope of Text CHECK LIST OF PUBLICATIONS ON AMERICAN RAILROADS BEFORE 1841

Compiled by THOMAS RICHARD THOMSON

INTRODUCTION

THIS CHECK LIST, prepared at The New York Public Library and checked by thirty-five co-operating libraries, was compiled for the purpose of listing printed books and pamphlets, including state and federal documents, issued before the year 1841, which might be considered important to the student of American railroads.

In compiling this list, in the first instance, various sources, including Poore's Descriptive catalogue of the government publications of the United States, Sept. 5,1774 to March, 1881, Hasse's Index of economic material in documents of the states of the United States, Bowker's State publications, the Bureau of Railway Economics' Railway economics; a collective catalogue of books in fourteen American libraries, and Lee's A bibliography of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company, 1827 to 1879, were consulted. After the original list was prepared, copies were sent to the libraries collaborating, for checking and for supplementary information and additional titles. When the additional titles had been collected, a second list was printed and returned to all of the libraries for further checking. These two lists when checked and returned were merged and form the present compilation.

In the selection of items for this list, two general types of publications were assembled for examination, i.e. material dealing wholly with railroads, and material dealing with other subjects, but having some reference in its text to railroads.

The specific material covered by this check list includes separately printed matter, i.e. books, pamphlets, broadsides (except stock or contract certificates or bonds), and maps. In other words, all printed matter, suitable in form as just defined, which directly and predominantly relates to American railroads, or has the words "railroad" or "railway" printed on the title page, has been included in this list. There is one exception to this rule: the subject of Marine Railways, which has no direct reference to the subject covered by this check list, is not included.

References to American railroads before 1825 are few, and from 1825 to 1830 the subject was so new that all material printed before 1831, suitable in form as previously defined, has been included, even if there are only incidental references to American railroads. Such references were found in canal reports, governors' messages, and similar publications. Maps issued before 1831 showing American railroads are included even though the words "railroad" or "railway" do not appear in the title.

In a number of states, there were governing bodies engaged on railroad projects as well as canals, i.e. the Pennsylvania Canal Commissioners, the Indiana Internal Improvement Board, the Illinois Board of Public Works, and the Virginia Board of Public Works. As these reports are especially important to the student of railroads, they have been listed. The reports of similar state boards which were not engaged on railroad projects, are omitted from the list even though there are incidental references.

Reports of canal companies which operated railroads, have been included, if the reports refer to the railroads. Reports and pamphlets issued by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, which contain more than an incidental reference to the controversy between the canal company and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad are also included. Reports issued after 1830 of canal companies not engaged in operating railroads are not listed, even though they contain incidental references to the subject.

Reports of companies whose activities were connected with the terminals of railroads, such as the Canton Company of Baltimore and the South Cove Company of Massachusetts, have been included in this list.

Separate documents issued by municipalities, such as some of the reports of the Board of Aldermen of the City of New York and the reports of the Mayor of Baltimore, are covered by this list, if they directly and predominantly relate to railroads; otherwise they are excluded.

Governors' messages played an important part in railroad progress in the United States. These messages have been included if they devote approximately one page or more to a discussion of individual railroads or railroad problems.

State House and Senate journals are not in the list, irrespective of date, unless as in the case of the reports of the canal commissioners of the State of Pennsylvania, the entire volume or the greater part of the journal is devoted to a railroad report. These volumes of the Pennsylvania Senate and House journals sometimes contain more material in their attached exhibits than any of the issues of the canal commissioners.

Reports of legislative committees, such as a committee on internal improvements, a committee on ways and means, or a committee on roads and canals, are included even if the word "railroad" or its equivalent is absent from the title, if approximately one page or more is devoted to a discussion of individual railroads or railroad problems. Such reports are not included if they concern only the securities of railroad companies and tables of investments by the state. This is also true of the reports of the treasurer of the Western Shore of Maryland.

There are a good many documents of the United States government containing petitions of railroads for relief from the duties on railroad iron. These items are included, if the word "railroad" or its equivalent is in the title. However, memorials of manufacturers and other industrial groups relating to the importation of iron in general, and sometimes having incidental references to railroad iron, are not included in the list.

Travelers' guides and gazetteers issued after 1830 and containing lists of railroads or descriptive railroad references are part of this check list, though the words "railroad" or "railway" may not appear in the titles. However, they are not included if they have only incidental railroad references. Bradford's Atlas, which has a page or more of text accompanying each map, and is considered superior to the text in most gazetteers, is an example of the type of gazetteer selected for this list.

Issues of Mitchell's Travellers' Guide from 1832 to 1836 were maps in lettered leather cases, with the text printed on each map. This text consisted of tables, one of which was "Lengths of the principal rail-roads, (Finished or in progress) in the United States." Also in the text (1832 issue) was a heading "Steam-boat and canal routes" with a reference to route No. 11 "Philadelphia to Baltimore, via Newcastle & French T. Rail-R." The Mitchell guides are included in the list because of the table and not because of the incidental reference.

Foreign publications having references to American railroads are listed if there is at least a chapter devoted to the subject.

A summary of the material included, is as follows:

1. Every book or pamphlet, including state and federal documents, printed before 1841 specifically dealing with American railroads, or having the words "railroad" or "railway" in its title.

2. Every book or pamphlet, including state and federal documents, printed before 1831 and containing incidental references to American railroads.

3. Every separately printed map issued before 1831 showing American railroads, together with every separately printed map issued before 1841 and having the words "railroad" or "railway" in its title.

4. Reports of the Pennsylvania Canal Commissioners, the Indiana Internal Improvement Board, the Illinois Board of Public Works, and the Virginia Board of Public Works, printed before 1841. Continue
Total Records in AED 2707
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